EVM strong rooms in Chennai declared ‘red zones’

Following orders of Chennai City Police Commissioner Sandeep Rai Rathore, places where the Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) are stored have been declared as ‘red zones’ and flying of drones and other unmanned aerial vehicles will be prohibited in these areas until June 4.

The EVMs that were used for Lok Sabha elections in the three constituencies in the city have been stored in strong rooms at Loyola College in Nungambakkam, Queen Mary’s College in Mylapore and Anna University in Guindy. It may be noted that flying of drones and other unmanned aerial vehicles is already banned under CrPC section 144 in Chennai.

The DMK had petitioned the Election Commission of India (ECI) three days ago seeking steps to designate the areas housing strong rooms ‘drone no-fly zones’, besides ensuring uninterrupted CCTV surveillance of the rooms.

The party’s appeal came in the backdrop of an incident regarding CCTV cameras malfunctioning for approximately 20 minutes in the strong room containing EVMs for the Nilgiris parliamentary constituency. The DMK had expressed concern that drones can be used to interfere with the functioning of CCTVs.